Svitolina has won hearts and minds at Roland Garros after a storming run into the second week, only eight months after giving birth to her first child, daughter Skai, and only two months back on tour. The Ukrainian has also taken a stand by refusing to shake hands with Russian or Belarusian opponents due to the invasion. “Can you imagine the guy or girl in the front line looking at me and I am acting like nothing is happening?” she explained.
Having beaten Russia’s Anna Blinkova and Daria Kasatkina, Svitolina today faced the No 2 seed Sabalenka, who has previously voiced support for Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko and refused to answer a journalist’s questions when confronted on her views in Paris last week. But Sabalenka was too powerful, winning 6-4, 6-4.
From our partners:
French Open 2023 – live
- 22-time grand slam champion Novak Djokovic beats Karen Khachanov in four sets
- Aryna Sabalenka’s power game too much in quarter-final against Elina Svitolina
- Karolina Muchova through to semi-finals after commanding win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
- French Open Day 10 order of play
- US Open champion Carlos Alcaraz meets former finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas
BREAKING: Novak Djokovic beats Karen Khachanov 4-6, 7-6, 6-2, 6-4
17:53 , Karl Matchett
All or nothing for Khachanov then. Just another day at the office for Djokovic, perhaps.
Two big serves put him clear, Khachanov unable to reply as he was earlier, the Djokovic sends him across court and volleys the reply into a big empty space.
Three match points: he only needs one.
Game, set and match Novak Djokovic!
Novak Djokovic 4-6, 7-6, 6-2, 5-4 Karen Khachanov
17:50 , Karl Matchett
This is when you play one of the best. Khachanov had the break he badly needed, but immediately Djokovic breaks him back, game to love.
The Serbian legend will now serve for the match and a place in the semi-final.
Novak Djokovic 4-6, 7-6, 6-2, 4-4 Karen Khachanov
17:47 , Karl Matchett
Djokovic puts one straight into the net on what seems a routine short-range passing shot – he looks bemused as he turns away, and Khachanov goes 15-30 – before an unforced error of his own straight into the net.
The Serb’s next serve is well returned and his own response flies out for a break point.
How Khachanov needs this…and a double fault from Djokovic seems incredible at this juncture, but that’s what transpires!
Novak Djokovic 4-6, 7-6, 6-2, 4-3 Karen Khachanov
17:42 , Karl Matchett
A couple of unforced errors from Khachanov who is trying to keep his energy levels up, but it’s tough going out there i the heat.
Another goes long and it’s two break points for Djokovic at 15-40 – but another big response sees Khachanov pick up four points unanswered to keep hanging in there.
Novak Djokovic 4-6, 7-6, 6-2, 4-2 Karen Khachanov
17:37 , Karl Matchett
Another comfortable hold, another opportunity to force a comeback gone.
Djokovic serves through in fairly routine fashion here and he’s two service holds away from winning.
Novak Djokovic 4-6, 7-6, 6-2, 3-2 Karen Khachanov
17:33 , Karl Matchett
Khachanov celebrates a couple more hard-won points and they culminate in a more routine-won game.
A fast holding of his own serve there, which is probably what he needed. But the bigger test is to now find a way to break Djokovic, who simply has to keep holding his own for the next few games to progress to the semis.
Novak Djokovic 4-6, 7-6, 6-2, 3-1 Karen Khachanov
17:30 , Karl Matchett
No mistakes on the next two shots – Djokovic gets the job done in this epic game and moves clear, 3-1 now in the fourth set. Was that the big opportunity for his opponent to break back and push on?
*Novak Djokovic 4-6, 7-6, 6-2, 2-1 Karen Khachanov
17:29 , Karl Matchett
Unexpected but excellent – Khachanov shows great resilience to get himself back in the mix and earn a break point – but then Djokovic plays an unstoppable series of shots and takes matters right back into his own hands.
A few points into the crowd too, perhaps at someone who was egging him on just prior.
Then follows an extraordinary rally: both baselines, then to the net, a drop-shot from each, a lob from Djokovic which Khachanov sprints to reach, fires back through his own legs – and Djokovic’s return goes into the net!
And that’s just for deuce again…
Novak Djokovic 4-6, 7-6, 6-2, 2-1 Karen Khachanov
17:16 , Karl Matchett
Djokovic wins his own service game and then puts himself in a great position with two break points on Khachanov’s serve.
A bit of tiredness and irritation in the latter’s game now after that hugely high-intensity start he made to claim the first set.
But Djokovic’s power is just proving too much now and he rattles another shot into the corner to claim the first break of the fourth set.
Novak Djokovic 4-6, 7-6, 6-2, 0-1 Karen Khachanov
17:09 , Harry Latham-Coyle
A bit of early fourth set presure on Karen Khachanov, but the Russian re-steels and secures what feels like a vital hold. He’ll need Djokovic to drop his level a little but he simply has to stay in the fight and keep pressing with that powerful forehand and serve combination.
Novak Djokovic 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 Karen Khachanov
17:04 , Harry Latham-Coyle
That was an extraordinary set from Djokovic. Just a single unforced error, and 100% of points won on his second serve – supreme stuff.
Novak Djokovic cruises to third set
17:01 , Harry Latham-Coyle
An emphatic overhead smash seals another hold to love and the lead for Novak Djokovic, playing perhaps his best tennis of the tournament and now a set ahead. 4-6, 7-6, 6-2.
(Getty Images)© Provided by The Independent
Novak Djokovic 4-6, 7-6, 5-2 Karen Khachanov
16:58 , Harry Latham-Coyle
The gremlins are gone from the system and Djokovic is going about securing this third set with machine-like efficiency. An exquisite backhand drop shot secures a second break and he’ll bid to serve it out after the change of ends.
Novak Djokovic 4-6, 7-6, 4-2 Karen Khachanov
16:54 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Yep, good Novak is very much here. The errors are becoming less and less frequent and the Serbian is beginning to show off his attacking game, unfurling winners on both sides as Khachanov begins to tire. A couple of lazy drop shots are dealt with appropriately en route to another love hold.
Novak Djokovic 4-6, 7-6, 3-1 Karen Khachanov
16:46 , Harry Latham-Coyle
And while Khachanov is facing more and more trouble on serve, Novak Djokovic is beginning to click fully into gear, sealing a hold to love with a fabulous leaping forehand up the line which the Russian can’t get anywhere near.
Novak Djokovic 4-6, 7-6, 2-1 Karen Khachanov
16:42 , Harry Latham-Coyle
A moment of fortune for Khachanov as he benefits from a friendly kiss on the cord, Djokovic managing to squirt a forehand around the net to keep the point alive but then stranded as the Russian finds the open pastures left behind. A much-needed, fighting hold.
Novak Djokovic 4-6, 7-6, 1-0 Karen Khachanov
16:33 , Harry Latham-Coyle
That’s a brilliant backhand from Khachanov, and just when he needed it, too, firmly on the back foot in the point at deuce but able to craft a skidding winner up the line.
Finally, Djokovic’s first break point of the match arrives, but it comes and goes quickly as Khachanov watches a backhand land long.
A second arrives soon after but Djokovic wastes it with a wretched forehand. He turns to his box for what seems a testy exchange, and is still chuntering away as he earns a third break point of the game as Khachanov’s solid showing perhaps just begins to fray.
And there is the break! A helpful pat from the net cord draws a hand of apology from Djokovic and a fist pump of celebration from the third seed’s box as he breaches Khachanov’s serve for the first time.
see the complete result here.
For enquiries, product placements, sponsorships, and collaborations, connect with us at [email protected]. We'd love to hear from you!
Our humans need coffee too! Your support is highly appreciated, thank you!